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Make history with us.

Donate now and help us build the first professional centre dedicated to showcasing Black art and culture in Canada.

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Build Black Here Fund_

Your donations will help realize the first black arts centre of its kind in Canada. Become a part of history in the making by contributing to the first professional multi-disciplinary centre for African-Canadian art.

 

The Space_

Our renovated and fully accessible Black Arts Centre at 524 Oakwood Avenue will consist of a 170-seat multi-purpose performance space, a digital media lab, artists’ studios, event spaces and co-working spaces. These studios and spaces will enable professional development, creation, performance and exhibitions in artistic areas of music, dance, photography, digital media, visual art, film and theatre.


Why Now_

SPACE

Black artists and community organizations are some of the hardest hit. We are pushed out of spaces, cultural art forms are seen as less than and excluded from the mainstream.

REAL ESTATE

Rising costs of real estate mean that community space is becoming harder to find and access.

DIASPORA

Toronto is home to Canada’s largest Black community, but there is no space that this community has to 

PRESERVING TRADITIONS

Honouring history, creating pathways for Canadians to access representations of Blackness all year round, and creating space for generations of Black artists to come

PUBLIC

Engage in Black art art, better understand Canadian culture & history, and build a more inclusive, culturally aware society


Where_

The Centre is located just south of Eglinton Ave west, in the heart of a historically Caribbean neighbourhood with a long history of artistic and creative entrepreneurship. 

As this neighbourhood changes, we will serve as a landmark to continue the legacy of a Black neighbourhood rich with art, enterprise and community.  We are a critical part of the redevelopment of Lil Jamaica, enabling the Centre to attract audiences from across the GTA and beyond.

Quote

“The history of the Nia Centre, it used to be Isabella Ballroom. That’s where all the reggae acts used to come in the 70s and 80s. It was amazing because communities to come either Friday, Saturday for a reggae show or calypso or soca show. And it served the neighbourhood very well.

 

The only mistake we made that early is we didn’t purchase that building. You know, but it’s a lot of international regulars from England and Jamaica, came from all over and that’s where the promoters used to have their shows. Because that neighbourhood was very very rich. All the West Indians would go to Eglinton to shop for their grocery and records. There’s a lot of rich cultures up there in that neighbourhood.”


Timeline_

Construction Announcement: March 2020.

Join us as we say farewell to the Centre and make way for construction.

Demolition Begins: March 2020.

Construction Ends: April 2021

Stay tuned with updates.

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